George T. Delacorte Assistant Professor of Magazine Journalism
Keith Gessen is a founding editor of n+1 and a contributor to The New Yorker and The London Review of Books. He is the editor of three nonfiction books and the translator or co-translator, from Russian, of a collection of short stories, a book of poems, and a work of oral history. He is also the author of a novel, “All the Sad Young Literary Men.”
Most of Gessen's journalistic work has focused on the effects of the collapse of communism on the countries of what used to be the Soviet Union. His New Yorker article on the insoluble problem of Moscow traffic -- a legacy of militant Soviet urban design combined with the anti-planning ethos of hypercapitalism — was included in Best American Travel Essays in 2011. His New Yorker story on the opening to shipping of the Northern Sea Route above the Russian Arctic as a result of global warming was included in Best American Science and Nature Writing in 2013. Most recently he has been writing on the post-revolutionary crisis in Ukraine, both from the perspective of the hopeful (pro-European) western and central portions of the country, and its traumatized (pro-Russian) east.
Gessen began his career as a book reviewer for the early online magazine FEED, and subsequently contributed review-essays to Dissent, The Nation, and The New York Review of Books. He started n+1 with Mark Greif, Chad Harbach, Benjamin Kunkel, Allison Lorentzen, and Marco Roth in 2004.
Gessen graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in History and Literature in 1998, and subsequently received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Syracuse University. In 2014-2015 he was a Fellow at the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library.